The Origins of the Riot Grrrl Ethos

Interview with Larissa Oliveira, Zinester and Punk Lover.


"I am strongly inspired by women in rock because of their freedom of words, attitudes, image, movement, and social activism."

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Larissa Oliveira, I am Brazilian (25), an ESL teacher, writer and punk lover (haha). I am also a zinester and graduated in Pedagogy.  My favorite fruit is watermelon and my favorite movie is Trainspotting; I identify myself as a riot grrrl and I've been teaching myself English, French and Italian for years. 

Who or what inspires you?

I am strongly inspired by women in rock because of their freedom of words, attitudes, image, movement, and social activism. Some examples are the riot grrrl pioneers (Bikini Kill and Bratmobile) and punk poets like Patti Smith and Lydia Lunch. As a zinester, I take a lot of inspiration from Bikini Kill's Tobi Vail and as a writer from Patti Smith's writing style. My love for languages is not only connected to my teaching career but also to my idols. I am that type of fan who would build an altar for the artists I love. I owe everything I am to music in the first place!


What challenges do you face?
As a Brazilian, I've been dealing with a fascist government whose president adores the torturers of our past military dictatorship and claims for the implementation of one in our country. So I fight against his ideas in the way I can but the country's future is not bright, especially because the president has been irresponsible during this pandemic and saying that our economy is more important than this "little flu".

As a teacher, I haven't found a new job in this pandemic because all schools are closed and as a woman, I've faced judgment on my choices because all of them don't fit in society's expectations and Brazil is a very conservative country, it kills trans folks more than any place in the world!

What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

Well, as a teacher, it was when I was approved in an application for substitute professor at the university that I had graduated two months earlier. 
As a zinester it was when I gave copies of my zines to Jennifer Finch from L7 and to Nadya from Pussy Riot during their gigs in Brazil. And also when Kerry Smith from Red Aunts wanted to get copies from mail post. Their music saved my life and then they were interested in my work. What delightful memories!!!
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I really hope we win this battle against covid 19 and leave our homes more humanized. I want to build an academic career and write books in different languages and launch them in different parts of the world, so maybe we can meet haha. I also want to start an all-women band and thus contribute to the riot grrrl herstory.
Zine instagram: @iwannabeyrgrrrlzine 
Facebook page: @riotgrrrlss